[OPE-L:4150] RE: Part Two of Volume III of Capital

From: P.J.Wells@open.ac.uk
Date: Wed Oct 18 2000 - 13:04:07 EDT

Duncan writes [#4099]

> It seems to me that the temporalist claim has to rest 
> on an indirect argument that it is consistent with some of the 
> conclusions Marx drew (the conservation of total value, constant 
> capital, and the profit rate in the movement from the embodied labor 
> accounting to price accounting) rather than on direct evidence. The 
> problem with trying to establish an interpretation through an 
> indirect argument of this kind is that there might be some different 
> interpretation that also preserves those conclusions.
	This is a fair point in itself, but there don't seem to be many
rivals for this distinction.

> "As the price of production of a commodity can diverge from its 
> value, so the cost price of a commodity, in which the price of 
> production of other commodities is involved can also stand above or 
> below the portion of its total value that is formed by the value of 
> the means of production going into it. It is necessary to bear in 
> mind this modified significance of the cost price, and therefore to 
> bear in mind too that if the cost price of a commodity is equated 
> with the value of the means of production used up in producing it, it 
> is always possible to go wrong."
> I find it very difficult to reconcile this kind of language with the 
> idea that Marx made no distinction between the labor embodied in the 
> constant capital and the money value of the constant capital at 
> prices of production.
	Marx's comment here seems to say no more than "be careful about
which -- of cost price and value of means of production used up -- you
identify as being the value of the inputs" (and by implication "choose the
cost price", according to Fred and TSSers). 


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